/ One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains....

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Andes - on 11 Dec 2013
On at 9:00 tonight, a documentary about last winters many fatalities on BBC 1 Scotland. Not sure if it will be on south of the border, but I guess it will be on I-player later
mrplastique - on 11 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

Virgin Media show BBC Scotland - box set to record
Milesy - on 11 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

That's part of it but it's not the purpose of the program. I supplied some winter climbing footage for it. It's in general about people who love the mountains in winter.
dgp - on 12 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

Watched it on iplayer - very well put together - many thanks for alerting us to it.
Jerry67 - on 12 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

Excellent programme, take care out there this winter.
Jerry
WJV0912 on 12 Dec 2013
kemmar - on 12 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

I felt it was maybe angled towards being a timely warning with it highlighting the complexity of snow and the widespread grief of even a single fatality. I did expect the Chalamain Gap avalanche to be featured. Not a place i would ever have worried about in any conditions and a very sobering event.
Simon Caldwell - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to kemmar:

Very good. As I said in the other thread, the decision to only show this in Scotland is baffling.
NottsRich on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Andes)
>
> That's part of it but it's not the purpose of the program....It's in general about people who love the mountains in winter.

I watched it last night. Based on what you said I was expecting something a little different from the rather negative view of the programme (at some points, not all). The music suggesting impending doom and the voiceover both tried to dramatise and add suspense (IMO) - not needed for a documentry like that which was otherwise quite good. Worth watching though for any one that hasn't yet!
Scomuir on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to NottsRich:

Milesy was probably commenting based upon discussion he would have had with the producer/researcher in the spring when they were looking for footage? The programme was quite different to the one that people had been led to believe it was going to be when being asked for contributions.

http://www.winterhighland.info/forum/read.php?2,159580

James Edwards - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to Scomuir:

I haven't seen this yet, but was there a 4 year old girl called Anna featured skiing the Cas headwall? She's a friends daughter.
James
Scomuir on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to James Edwards:

No she wasn't. In the WH thread I linked to, there is a post from Helen Rennie who mentions your friends daughter, but the footage wasn't used.
Red Rover - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:
I didnt like some aspects of the program, it focused too much on the danger, which is there but managable most of the time. I hope family members dont watch it and get worried. You could make a program like that, focusing on the danger and grieving, about horse riding, rugby, and imagine if they did one about smoking/drinking/eating too much.
Post edited at 16:36
Simon Caldwell - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to Red Rover:

they did say several times that the vast majority of people had no problems at all.
Paul249 - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to James Edwards:

It was very brief, maybe only a second or two, but there was a wee clip of a girl that age who looked very competent on skis!
Red Rover - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Yes they did but it seemed to then ignore that fact and continually focus on the grieving/death side of things. I know I'm kidding myself if I think the climbing is safe and it wont happen to me, seeing the state it left the families in made me think a lot and I'll probably back off a route if its bad (I'm like that anyway). I'm not being very clear but I just think it was too much of the dark side of the coin and could cause relatives to stress too much.
Paul249 - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to kemmar:

I did expect the Chalamain Gap avalanche to be featured.

I wonder if legally they decided not to mention that particular tragedy as it is possible investigations are ongoing ?? I could be completely wrong of course
kemmar - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to Paul249:

The complete non mention of the incident suggests something of that nature i think.
cannichoutdoors - on 14 Dec 2013
In reply to kemmar:

As it was billed as 'looking at those who live, work and play in the mountains', I was expecting more of living, working (e.g. WML, MIC, BMG) and play (more climbing). It was very skiing, avalanche, accident/MRT focused. I was hoping for some nice footage of folk out working/enjoying climbing on the Ben, Creag Meagaidh, Glencoe, Skye.
Howard J - on 14 Dec 2013
In reply to cannichoutdoors:

I thought it did exactly what it said on the tin - a look at an exceptional winter with an unusually high number of deaths, trying to show what happened and explain the meteorological processes involved. I thought it took a balanced and sensible approach, with none of the usual suspects calling for bans or compulsory insurance. I also thought it did it lot to explain why people go into this environment despite the risks, although perhaps a little more footage of people having fun might have helped to make more of this point.
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kemmar - on 14 Dec 2013
In reply to cannichoutdoors:

It was on at a time of night and on a day which could be classed as a 'peak' viewing slot for BBC, even though it was confined to Scotland. I always look at Scottish mountain type progs. with half an eye on how a non climbing public might see it, where there is a huge amount of misunderstanding. They would have changed channel pretty quick i think, because it went into snow pack science and The Alps very quickly. Even most keen and experienced Winter climbers can only take so much of that stuff in. It also failed badly in making a distinction between Winter climbers and hill walkers, especially when showing clips that were clearly 'climbing'. I feel a lot of people would have started watching and been disappointed. I also think that these progs. are so often a missed opportunity to inform people in Scotland just how much the 'waste areas' of mountains and water are vital to the economy of the whole country.
Jim C - on 14 Dec 2013
In reply to Toreador:

> Very good. As I said in the other thread, the decision to only show this in Scotland is baffling.

I thought that too, my guess is many of the people who get in to trouble, are visitors who have made a special trip, and go out when the weather is less than ideal. 'Locals' like me just stay indoors or take a short drive home , and wait for a better day.

It would be better playing to an audience outside of Scotland.
Tom Knowles - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to Jim C:

> It would be better playing to an audience outside of Scotland.

I agree, the programme should have been broadcast throughout the UK. The Scottish mountains have a pull far beyond the country's borders. According to the Scottish Mountain Rescue Committee, over half of those rescued (52%) in Scotland in the 10-year period 1996-2005 did not live in Scotland. Most of the fatal accidents that occurred last winter involved those whose nationality or domicile lay outwith Scotland.

As mentioned above, I also thought there was too much emphasis on science, and a tendency to blame "one-off" meteorological conditions, as if the Scottish mountains are normally inherently safe. That said, I do appreciate that a programme directly focusing on decision-making in the mountains would be a difficult one to make without angering friends and families of the deceased.
Andes - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to kemmar:
> It also failed badly in making a distinction between Winter climbers and hill walkers, especially when showing clips that were clearly 'climbing'.

That was the biggest problem with it, in my opinion. Pretty much all the avalanche fatalities last year were to "walkers". As far as I know only one of the Chalamain fatalities was actually climbing. Yet many of the clips were of people climbing, presumably to make the programme more "exciting". This is bad in several ways. It may very well lead winter hillwalkers watching the program to be complacent about the avalanche risk they face, and it makes us "climbers" seem like unnecessarily dangerous individuals.

There was also what seemed to be a bit of overuse of the term experienced... it's a pretty meaningless term, do 5 winter walks make you experienced, or does it take 50? In terms of many of last years fatalities the groups (because of their age alone) seemed to be not very experienced.

That said there were many good points as well, I did like the guy who said he probably turned away from a ski descent more often than he skiied it... that is the fundamentally most important thing about avalanche safety really, the savvy to change (or even abandon) plans.
Post edited at 11:24
chris_s - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to Tom Knowles:

Quite likely to be repeated on network television before the end of the winter I would have thought. How many people genuinely can't watch it though? Once you've factored in iPlayer/Sky/Freesat, there can't be that many.
Bergvagabunden - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:
I thought it was an excellent programme , thought provoking , and informative , not negative , just realistic - i thought the pieces on understanding WHY avalanches happen were excellent , and remember , they had to make it as understandable as possible to the general public .
Cardi - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

I thought what it did, it did it well, apart from lack of climbing footage and although my parents who are non climbers enjoyed it, they found it rather sobering watching and made them even more anxious about me going winter climbing.
Trevers - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to Cardi:

> I thought what it did, it did it well, apart from lack of climbing footage and although my parents who are non climbers enjoyed it, they found it rather sobering watching and made them even more anxious about me going winter climbing.

I watched it with my dad and got the same impression- that for the first time he was anxious about my planned trips to Scotland, no matter how much I might try and reassure him that I would take care.

On the other hand, I felt that some of the families had managed to come to terms with it very well and were very philosophical about it.
Michael Gordon - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

> That was the biggest problem with it, in my opinion. Pretty much all the avalanche fatalities last year were to "walkers". As far as I know only one of the Chalamain fatalities was actually climbing.

To be fair, climbers were caught in their fair share of avalanches (e.g. Sneachda), even if they weren't fatal.

I agree with what you're saying about the term 'experienced'. 'Experienced' compared to the average punter, well certainly, but not necessarily what all would call 'experienced'. I think a fair bit of talk about folk being experienced is perhaps done just to show some level of respect.
Andes - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I've no issue with the fact that climbers also get caught in avalanches, but I do think the media constantly using the term "climber" when the people involved in a particular incident were "walkers" will give many walkers the notion that avalanches don't really apply to them.

Of course it's partly semantics, these guys were climbing a mountain, so in that respect were climbers.
Bergvagabunden - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

Mountaineers , surely , not climbers ?
Scomuir on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

> That said there were many good points as well, I did like the guy who said he probably turned away from a ski descent more often than he skiied it... that is the fundamentally most important thing about avalanche safety really, the savvy to change (or even abandon) plans.

Which is one of my main gripes about the programme. You don't actually know that he was referring to avalanche risk, but the slant of the programme made it look like he was. I'm fairly confident that he was not referring to avalanche risk specifically. Yes, of course, it can be a factor, but bullet hard snow was probably higher up the "go-do-something-else" list of reasons.

Andes - on 16 Dec 2013
In reply to Scomuir:

You're probably right there Scott, but I guess no matter what the hazard the big thing is to be able to turn around and come back some other day, no matter how far you've gone or how much you've spent.
Michael Gordon - on 16 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

Yes, a lot of emphasis is usually put on prior planning and preparation but staying flexible and willing to switch objectives (not being stuck on the one goal) is certainly just as important.
Dave Kerr - on 16 Dec 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> Yes, a lot of emphasis is usually put on prior planning and preparation but staying flexible and willing to switch objectives (not being stuck on the one goal) is certainly just as important.

It's probably more important as no amount of prior planning can tell you exactly what the conditions are.
Post edited at 20:20
Jim Fraser - on 17 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

Overall, probably sufficiently positive and informative. The subject was never going to be covered properly without a lot of negative stuff being prominent.

Yes, the usual confusion between climbers and walkers. Worth getting vocal about since those crazy climbers (!) are not the ones making most of the stats.

Perhaps lacking in terrain-awareness aspects. You will have less need to know that snow is a "high temperature material" if you walk up the ridge.

Provenance? Touchy subject maybe. More to do with goal-orientated decision making than nationality I suspect. That, in turn, may relate to long journeys and shortage of time. Not new.

Nice seeing some well-known faces getting a chance to tell it like it is.
johnj on 17 Dec 2013 - 86.112.78.158 whois?
In reply to WJV0912:

cheers, watching this now.
mmmhumous on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

Some great footage in there, but I was disappointed overall. The impending doom soundtrack/voice over just wasn't necessary - people lost their lives what's a sobering enough thought without the hype. As it was a documentary: more publicity for www.sais.gov.uk and how to interpret the forecast would have been useful. (could be wrong but didn't spot the website shown anywhere).
Cuthbert on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Andes:

Agree with you. The footage was great and the people featured very professional and informed. The commentary was utter drivel though and really trying to ham it up.
Vanessa Simmons on 09 Jan 2014
In reply to Andes:

It's on again on Tuesday 14th Jan for those of us who missed it first time:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03l5lvh
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